Straight Talk Wireless Website As Of 3-3-2018 Does Not Show A Clear Data Limit On Unlimited Data Plan
Straight Talk Wireless Website As Of 3/3/2018 Does Not Show A Clear Data Limit On Its Unlimited Data Plan

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Some folks never learn.

More than three years after settling a $40 million lawsuit over the improper use of the phrase "unlimited data," Straight Talk Wireless is at it again.

Straight Talk Wireless says its $55 "ultimate unlimited plan" comes with unlimited talk, text and data. However, a couple of Reddit users found out the hard way that the plan does not in fact come with unlimited data.  They found this out when Straight Talk decided to completely block the users from accessing their data network. When the subscribers inquired why, customer support directed them to their website's terms and conditions which now state:

"We further reserve the right to limit, deny, or terminate Service to anyone we believe is using their Service in an unauthorized manner or whose usage, in our sole discretion, adversely impacts a Carrier’s network or customer service levels. We will presume you are engaging in an unauthorized use in violation of these Terms and Conditions, if in our sole discretion, you are using more than 60 GB of data in a 30-day period....."

I say "now state," because previously these terms were not listed on the Straight Talk Wireless website.  In fact, the only sort of data limit I ever noticed on their website was something shown in part of a promotion that they ran several months ago. At that time, they advertised a data prioritization policy which said that if a subscriber goes over more than 32GB of data consumed in a month, they may see their data speeds reduced.  This is a practice employed by virtually all unlimited data providers.

Straight Talk's new policy seems to deviate from the industry norm. Will that get them in trouble again?

It just may.

TracFone's FTC Settlement Requirements

While I'm no lawyer, when TracFone (the brand behind Straight Talk) settled the lawsuit with the FTC, it did so under the following conditions:

TracFone must clearly and conspicuously disclose any limits on the speed or quantity of its data service. According to the settlement "clearly and conspicuously" means the following:

  • In print communications, the disclosure must be presented in a manner that stands out from the accompanying text so that it is sufficiently prominent, because of its type size, contrast, location, or other characteristics, for an ordinary consumer to notice, read, and comprehend it.

Do you think hiding the limit in small print satisfies this requirement? I certainly don't!

Furthermore:

  • “Close Proximity” means on the same print page, webpage, online service page, or other electronic page, and proximate to the triggering representation, and not accessed or displayed through hyperlinks, pop-ups, interstitials, or other means.

Is the limit being shown in close proximity to the plan? Certainly not!

They are many other requirements that TracFone and its brands are required to follow in order to remain in compliance with their settlement with the FTC. While I'm not going to list all of them, if you are interested you can view a copy of the settlement here.

So what do you think of this latest gaffe by Straight Talk Wireless.  Will there be a price to pay, or is this just going to slide on by?





Category  Featured Stories, Straight Talk
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Ronnie
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Ronnie

I just got back to the states after being stationed overseas for several years. I initially bought the $45 plan. No problem. I was impressed with the little wal-mart plan I bought and was able to use with my unlocked iPhone I bought in Europe. After 28 days, my internet was slowed because I guess I went over the given amount of data for $45 so I thought it was a legit brand, I’ll pay an extra $10 a month, put me on auto-pay and we’ll call it a day. My Data has not even went back to high speed.… Read more »

Sarah Johnson
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Sarah Johnson

They plain cut my data service off when I reached their “too much” unlimited limit. No reduced speeds, just cut me off.

Shannon
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Shannon

As of 4/25/2019 I have been slowed down once in a year and had to buy a new unlimited card early. Now, 6 months later and 3 days into my usual new $55 auto pay cycle my service seems to have been permanently slowed. It just updated 3 days ago. I’ve used maybe 10 gigs bc I’m a high risk pregnancy stuck in bed rest with no cable in the country and all I have is my roku, so I’ve streamed a lot lately. But considering I just paid my bill the clock should have started over but it hasn’t.… Read more »

Dawn
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Dawn

I have been using Straight Talk for 3-4 months now, I am an auto pay customer and use the $55 “unlimited” plan.. They have literally SHUT ME OFF after 2 weeks nearly every time, forcing me to purchase a SECOND card, even added an extra 10gb for $10 and I am STILL dealing with incredibly slow service. I’ve been on the phone with them at least 3 times a month speaking with someone I can’t even understand and being given crap excuses about why it slows down! I have never experienced such a low level of customer support!

Wes120
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Wes120

Ok I got the ultimate unlimited plan and my kids and I use hot spot for Netflix and on the ps3 and they shut me off at 200gb and I went and got a new card 55$ and. Then it said if I add card then it will end the other 30 day plan that is bait and switch and I think that is against the law how do we get a lawsuit going against them. Cause we are the ones getting it in the a ss

Carrie Phillips
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Carrie Phillips

It states in their terms and conditions that the consumers are not allowed to use their cell phone as a wireless hotspot/ tether. Doing so would constitute the consumer to forfeit their account access. Though I think if my phone comes with the option I should be allowed to use the feature until my data caps. I just bought new stylo4 off their website from my account. When I received the phone the tether/hotspot wouldn’t completely connect devices with the net. I can’t tether my phone to my laptop and do homework anymore. When called to resolve the issue I… Read more »

Phil
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Phil

Sorry but if you use 60 GB a month you deserve to be cut off. How does someone even use that much data? Connect to the freakin’ wifi once in a while

Larry
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Larry

Some people have no WiFi access

Raymond Richardson
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Raymond Richardson

I think you should speak for yourself. Like Larry said not everyone has Wi Fi access. I easily use way over 60gb of data a month.DL lots of music and videos.The point is in the English language unlimited means without limit.check your dictionary.To advertise something as unlimited and then put a limit on it is deceptive and dishonest. Who gave Straight Talk the right to make up their own definition of unlimited? I think they should be made to remove the unlimited from their advertisements or be made to pay 400 million the greedy crooks. Or everyone who purchases their… Read more »

Nancy
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Nancy

I don’t have WiFi. I live out in the country with limited services and need the data. Don’t think everyone has services like yourself.

Carrie Phillips
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Carrie Phillips

Phil. There is no wifi access ANYWHERE here except inside a restaurant. Senseless to pay for internet on phone and home with two separate companies when u could access it with one account. My yrly salary for a full time student is $10,000 tops and I can’t afford to buy net for house and also phone net. Makes no logical sense for such. But however, 200 GB sounds like to me an update on a game console. I do agree with the 60GB caps. But dont limit how I use it.

david l g
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david l g

ive been useing the $55 card unlimited no trouble allway pay over the phone for then then it then all out of the blue i have no net work ,iam like what the hell,they said over my limit , ok why i am i over my when iam payin for unlimited then they go on about the term of my contrat they didint me on the phone and i never sign no contract ,so explain to me mis what is umlimted mean if it has a limit ,they couldnt do that , wonder if i ask for a limt maybe… Read more »

Aaron
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Aaron

That’s funny cause I have 2 days left to my service and have used 92 gigabytes and service is still running fast 4glte. This entire article is obsolete in 2019.

Talitha
Guest
Talitha

Actually, no; i just discovered this problem tonight, 3/21/19. I am so mad. I paid for more highspeed (add-on), and it just kicked me off again.

Larry Kezeli
Guest
Larry Kezeli

No they shut me off completely after 15 days of service data and phone

Hunter
Guest
Hunter

Yep they just ripped me off and took my Internet down for no good reason hope they get sewed I got the 55$ card btw

Tiffany
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Tiffany

So this is the first month we have tried the 55 dollar plan just because we wanted to use the hotspot because the area we live in doesn’t get any good internet providers that actually works well. Anyways we decided to use this because it said unlimited with no data restrictions. Well I just found out tonight when I called and they said the data was turned off because we went over 60gb. Ugh… How was I to know this if it isn’t on the card it says unlimited no data restrictions so I assumed that meant what it said… Read more »